The world's first national park, Yellowstone is a symbol of nature's enduring majesty and the paradigm of protected areas across the globe. But Yellowstone is constantly changing. How we understand and respond to events that are putting species under stress, say the authors of Yellowstone's Wildlife in Transition, will determine the future of ecosystems that were millions of years in the making. With a foreword by the renowned naturalist E. O. Wilson, this is the most comprehensive survey of research on North America's flagship national park available today.
Marshaling the expertise of over thirty contributors, Yellowstone's Wildlife in Transition examines the diverse changes to the park's ecology in recent decades. Since its creation in the 1870s, the priorities governing Yellowstone have evolved, from intensive management designed to protect and propagate depleted large-bodied mammals to an approach focused on restoration and preservation of ecological processes. Recognizing the importance of natural occurrences such as fires and predation, this more ecologically informed oversight has achieved notable successes, including the recovery of threatened native species of wolves, bald eagles, and grizzly bears.
Nevertheless, these experts detect worrying signs of a system under strain. They identify three overriding stressors: invasive species, private-sector development of unprotected lands, and a warming climate. Their concluding recommendations will shape the twenty-first-century discussion over how to confront these challenges, not only in American parks but for conservation areas worldwide. Highly readable and fully illustrated, Yellowstone's Wildlife in Transition will be welcomed by ecologists and nature enthusiasts alike.
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About the Author
P. J. White is Chief of Wildlife and Aquatic Resources at Yellowstone National Park for the U.S. National Park Service.
Robert A. Garrott is Professor in the Department of Ecology and Fish & Wildlife Ecology and Management Program at Montana State University, Bozeman.
Glenn E. Plumb is Chief Wildlife Biologist in the Biological Resource Management Division of the U.S. National Park Service.
Edward O. Wilson is Pellegrino University Professor, Emeritus, at Harvard University. In addition to two Pulitzer Prizes (one of which he shares with Bert Hölldobler), Wilson has won many scientific awards, including the National Medal of Science and the Crafoord Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
Table of Contents
Foreword Edward O. Wilson ix
Background and Concepts
1 Ecological Process Management P. J. White Robert A. Garrott Glenn E. Plumb 3
2 Understanding the Past: The History of Wildlife and Resource Management in the Greater Yellowstone Area S. Thomas Olliff Paul Schullery Glenn E. Plumb Lee H. Whittlesey 10
3 Scale and Perception in Resource Management: Integrating Scientific Knowledge Matthew S. Becker Robert A. Garrott P. J. White 29
Population Dynamics and Interactions Among Species
4 Population Dynamics: Influence of Resources and Other Factors on Animal Density P. J. White Kerry A. Gunther 47
5 Predation: Wolf Restoration and the Transition of Yellowstone Elk P. J. White Robert A. Garrott 69
6 Competition and Symbiosis: The Indirect Effects of Predation Robert A. Garrott Daniel R. Stabler P. J. White 94
7 Omnivory and the Terrestrial Food Web: Yellowstone Grizzly Bear Diets Charles C. Schwartz Mark A. Haroldson Kerry A. Gunther Charles T. Robbins 109
Communities and Landscape-Scale Processes
8 Natural Disturbance Dynamics: Shaping the Yellowstone Landscape David B. McWethy Wyatt F. Cross Colden V. Baxter Cathy Whitlock Robert E. Gresswell 127
9 Climate and Vegetation Phenology: Predicting the Effects of Warming Temperatures Christopher C. Wilmers Karthik Ram Fred G. R. Watson P. J. White Douglas W. Smith Taal Levi 147
10 Migration and Dispersal: Key Processes for Conserving National Parks P. J. White Glenn E. Plumb Rick L. Wallen Lisa M. Baril 164
11 Have Wolves Restored Riparian Willows in Northern Yellowstone? N. Thompson Hobbs David J. Cooper 179
12 Assessing the Effects of Climate Change and Wolf Restoration on Grassland Processes Douglas A. Frank Rick L. Wallen P. J. White 195
Invasive, Non-Native Species
13 Altered Processes and the Demise of Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout in Yellowstone Lake Robert E. Gresswell Lusha M. Tronstad 209
14 Balancing Bison Conservation and Risk Management of the Non-Native Disease Brucellosis John J. Treanor P. J. White Rick L. Wallen 226
15 Exotic Fungus Acts with Natural Disturbance Agents to Alter Whitebark Pine Communities S. Thomas Olliff Roy A. Renkin Daniel P. Reinhart Kristin L. Legg Emily M. Wellington 236
16 The Future of Ecological Process Management P. J. White Robert A. Garrott Glenn E. Plumb 255
Reference List 267